Thursday, February 4, 2010

M/M Rut Challenge - Review of Vintage

So just the other day Kris, of Kris 'n' Good Books fame, was bored. She came up with a challenge, which you can read about if you click on the m/m rut challenge pic over there on the left.  Your left.

When I noted that I have a very large comfort zone as regards my reading, it was recommended that I try a Young Adult novel.  A few members of the fold recommended Vintage, by Steve Berman.  And since I had a code for a free book on ARe (after that weekend buying spree...) I got it.  It took me a few minutes to deal with the odd pdf format of the book but after that it was smooth sailing.  I started it yesterday, finished it today, and here are my random thoughts:

Why it was out of my comfort zone:  I haven't read any YA for a very long time.  And I am pretty sure I never read YA with gay characters.  Now that I've read so much m/m and also Urban Fantasy, etc., I'm not in a place where YA attracts me.

What I liked:  I thought this was a well-told story.  It was about a boy who can see ghosts, but it was told almost like a ghost story.  The main characters were very well-realized, even with the narration in first person. I appreciated the theme of being attracted to the exotic and dangerous, but finding what you need right under your nose. 

Niggles ('cause I had no big dislikes!): I wish the narrator had a name.  I don't think we ever got to know his first name, and his last name is mentioned once.  It's probably a metaphor for something, but it bugged me.  The resolution with the ghost seemed just a little abrupt.

There, I hope this helps the venerable Kris slough off her boredom for a bit!

The pdf version of the book can be purchased here.


  1. But at least it doesn't sound like it was painful to finish. :)

  2. Venerable. *muses* I like it. :)

  3. Good on you Tam for jumping in and getting your book read...

    Firstly how long is this book, and the niggles that you had - it sound like it only makes the story a little different which is always a good thing.

    Asfter taknig a qucik peek at the blurb - how did it stack up against that?


  4. @Wren...

    My apologies... I have two many windows open....



  5. Nice review!
    I'd also find it strange not knowing the narrator's name. Sounds like it was a good book though.

  6. Holy cow girly, you are speedy. It was kind of odd you never knew his name but probably a realistic form of narration. I doubt that if I was telling a story I'd say "Jimmy said "Gee Tam, hi there"." I'd just say "Jimmy said hi to me" or something like that. I didn't really notice it until after though. I still enjoyed the story and it was kind of creepy. Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. It's a pretty long book EH, (I'm flattering you confuse me with Wren. LOL). I think it was over 200 paper pages or something at least that long. It's not a short story.

  8. Hey y'all!
    Chris - no, it wasn't painful at all.

    Kris - I knew you would.

    EH - Oh, I was going to give you so much grief for confusing me with Tam, but then you figured it out :) Don't worry, she confused me with Lily eariler today.

    EH - It is 200 pages in pdf form, which I think is pretty much a copy of the printed book. I think the blurb at ARe was right on target. The one on Steve's website not as much.

  9. Lily -Thanks! It was a good book.

    and Tam - I thought about what you said about the first name, but I think somewhere along the way, over time and amidst 200 pages, someone would have called him by name. Even his aunt, while very cool, might have said it in frustration (that's when I call my son by HIS name).

    Although it made me wonder if there was a deeper meaning - he doesn't know who he is, he's everyman, etc.

  10. Thank you for reading the book.

    Yep, the goal was for the Narrator to serve as an EveryGayBoy role.

  11. Hi Steve, and thanks for stopping by!!

    I'm glad I caught on to the Every...theme. Did you have a name for him in your head when you were writing him? (If so, you don't have to tell us what it was)

    And no, I don't know why this is so challenging for me. Must be something from my wicked childhood. ;)

  12. Wren, no I always used to refer to him as The Narrator. When Alyson was semi-interested in publishing the book, they insisted he needed a name. But, well, they chose to pass.

  13. Steve - Huh. Interesting. Alyson's loss, then!


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